Undergraduate & honours qualifications

Bachelor of Music

The information on this page is for the 2019 academic year. Updated information for the 2020 academic year will be available before the start of the 2020 registration period.

Qualification code: 90089
NQF level: 7
Total credits: 360
SAQA ID: 101510
APS/AS: 20
The current BMus programme, known as the Bachelor of Music in Musicology, will be phased out from 2019 onwards, and replaced with the new BMus, Bachelor of Music degree. From 2019, all incoming students will register for the new programme. Students currently in the old programme will have until 2023 to finish this programme, with 1st level subjects offered until the end of 2018, 2nd level until the end of 2019, and 3rd level until the end of 2020. Opportunities to re-register for failed subjects will be offered for four years after the end of each level, with an additional year to take supplementary and special exams, i.e. until the end of 2021 for 1st level, 2022 for 2nd level and 2023 for 3rd level. Thereafter, students will be transitioned into the new programme. Students who have completed less than 50% of the old programme will be transitioned into the new programme in 2019 (1st level) and 2020 (2nd level). Students who have completed more than 50% of the old programme will have until 2024 to complete their degrees and will be permitted to finish this qualification, uninterrupted, as per the policies and rules of the University. There are certain special cases for particular modules, as shown below: CST1501 and CST1502: If at the beginning of 2019 you've completed only one of these two modules, you'll be permitted to register for the other module, and will be provided with the study guide for the replacement module CST1511. In 2020, you will be able to transition into the new programme by registering for CST2611. BA electives: Students, who have completed up to 24 credits of BA modules in terms of the electives for the Bachelor of Music in Musicology at 1st level, or 36 credits at 2nd level, will be exempt from a similar number of credits for specific modules in the new Bachelor of Music degree. At 1st level, students with 12 credits will be exempt from AFL1501: Language through an African Lens. Students with 24 credits will be exempt from ALF1501 plus PYC1501: Basic Psychology. At 2nd level, students with 12 credits will be exempt from WLL2602: Film, Literature and Society. Students with 24 credits will be exempt from WLL2602 and PLS2601: Critical Reasoning. Students with 36 credits will be exempt from WLL2602, PLS2601 and MNB1501: Business Management 1A.
Purpose statement:
This qualification prepares qualifying students to function as professional musicians, composers, music industry specialists, and music scholars. Qualifying students will have specialist knowledge and skills in African music, composition studies, music technology, musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory, and the music business. They will be able to interpret music from historical and oral sources, compose music in a range of popular, jazz, and art music styles, and orchestrate combinations of African and Western musical instruments. On completion of their studies students are qualified for careers as professional musicians as composers, producers, and researchers, or in collaboration with other musicians in recording, editing, and mastering professional work for the recording industry. Graduates will be qualified to work in the music business and the creative arts industries in general. Graduates will also be qualified to work in the educational sector, as music critics and writers, and as composers and producers for film, television, radio, and broadcast media. Graduates will be qualified to conduct basic research, and for admission to postgraduate studies in musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory, and composition studies.
This qualification will be presented using both online and distance learning modes.

Who can register?

  • Applicants may only register once they have received confirmation from Unisa that their application for admission has been accepted. Unisa reserves the right to not process and / or to cancel your registration if it is found that you were incorrectly admitted to a qualification.
  • Re-registering students may register for the 2019 academic year once the registration period opens.

Please note:

  • Should you wish to start a new qualification, please apply for the alternative qualification during the next application period.
  • All communication sent to you after the initial study package (with the exception of study guides) will be sent electronically to your myLife e-mail account (eg follow-up tutorial letters, examination timetables and results, financial statements). You will no longer receive such communication in printed format.

How to choose your modules

Each Unisa qualification is structured in such a way that you need to pass a certain number of modules and NQF level credits within a certain amount of time in order to graduate. You must pass a minimum number of credits / modules annually so that you are able to re-register and continue with your qualification:

  • At least 36 NQF credits (3 modules of 12 credits each) in your first year of study.
  • At least 48 NQF credits (4 modules of 12 credits each) in your second or further years of study.

You may not register for more than the allowed maximum number of credits / modules per semester:

  • At least 60 NQF credits (5 modules of 12 credits each) in a semester.
  • At least 120 NQF credits (10 modules of 12 credits each) per year for year modules.

The maximum number of credits do not include supplementary and / or aegrotat examinations from a previous semester. Modules taken for non-degree / non-diploma purposes also count towards the maximum number of credits allowed.

You must take your available time into consideration when choosing your modules, as this will impact your academic performance. You need approximately

  • 6 to 8 hours per week for semester modules.
  • 4 to 6 hours per week for year modules.

Click here for more information on managing your studies.

Curriculum for this qualification

As you are deciding on the modules you will be registering for, remember to write down the module names and codes so that you have something that you can refer to when completing your registration.

First level

Second level

Module Pre-requisite/Co-requisite/Recommendation
Group A. Compulsory.
ARH2601 - The Arts and Ideology I
CST2611 - Music Theory and Composition II (offered from 2020) Pre-requisite:CST1511 or (CST1501 and CST1502)
CST2612 - Music Technology (offered from 2020) Pre-requisite:CST1512
MHS2611 - Classic and Romantic Music (offered from 2020) Pre-requisite:MHS1511 or MHS1501
MHS2612 - Music in Postcolonial Africa (offered from 2020) Pre-requisite:MHS1512 or MHS1502
MHS2613 - Music Business Recommendation:Should be taken together with or follow on MNB1501
MHS2614 - Jazz Studies
PLS2601 - Critical Reasoning
WLL2602 - Film, Literature and Society

Third level

Module Pre-requisite/Co-requisite/Recommendation
Group A. Compulsory.
CST3711 - Twentieth Century Composition and Beyond (offered from 2021) Pre-requisite:CST2611 or (CST2602 and CST2603)
CST3712 - Sound Production (offered from 2021) Pre-requisite:CST2612 or CST2601
CST3713 - Instrumentation and Orchestration (offered from 2021) Pre-requisite:CST2611 or ( CST2602 and CST2603)
CST3714 - African Composition Pre-requisite:CST2611 or ( CST2602 and CST2603) and [CST3711 or (CST3702 and CSTCST3703)] and CST3713
MHS3711 - Modernism and Twentieth Century Music (offered from 2021) Pre-requisite:MHS2611 or MHS2604
MHS3712 - Theory of African Music (offered from 2021) Pre-requisite:MHS2612
MHS3713 - Psychology of Music Pre-requisite:PYC1501
Recommendation:CST1511 or UNISA Grade 5 in Music theory.
MHS3714 - Opera and Choral Music (offered from 2021)
MHS3715 - Popular Music (offered from 2021)